(Reuters) – A coalition of eight health care and employer groups on Wednesday called on the U.S. government to broaden the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and move towards universal healthcare coverage.
The Affordable Coverage Coalition, which includes the American Medical Association, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and employer groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said they serve hundreds of millions of patients, consumers and employers.
The Affordable Coverage Coalition called on the Biden Administration to make ACA premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions more generous, restore federal funding for outreach and enrollment programs and automatically enroll individuals eligible for Medicaid and premium-free ACA marketplace plans.
The group says they see these moves as a way for the United States to move towards universal healthcare coverage and make ACA more accessible for uninsured Americans who have lost or are at risk of losing employer-based coverage because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Achieving universal coverage is particularly critical as we strive to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and work to address long-standing inequities in health care access and outcomes,” the coalition said.
In January, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to reopen healthcare.gov, the nation’s online health insurance marketplace, from Feb. 15 to May 15. The program had been accessible for six weeks in the fall.
(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)